Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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>March 2012

Workplace Bullying: Breaking the Cycle

Forum IV keynote speaker to address bullying in the workplace

CCOHS Forum IV: Better Together

Forum IV keynote
speaker and bestselling author
Barbara Coloroso.

It is the most dangerous combination going: bullies who get what they want from their target, bullied adults who are afraid to tell, bystanders who either watch, participate, or look away, and employers who see the incidents as simply "teasing" and a normal part of the workplace.

International bestselling author Barbara Coloroso says we have only to look to the headlines to understand that this is a recipe for tragedy. Some bullying targets, their cries unheard, have fought back with violence that has devastated entire communities; others have committed suicide; many more suffer in silence, their lives a constant round of emotional and physical pain.

Hear Barbara speak as part of Forum IV, CCOHS' two-day national conference on workplace health and safety. Using her book The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander as a framework, Barbara will give both workers and employers the tools to break this cycle of violence.

Featuring speaker sessions, panel discussions, group workshops, and an innovation and best practices showcase, Forum IV is an opportunity for participants to collaborate on integrated, comprehensive approaches to total health and wellness at work. Forum IV takes place on October 29 and 30, 2012, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Early bird pricing is now in effect; save $100 off the regular registration rate. Special rates for CCOHS Members and full-time students are also available.

Learn more about Forum IV

CCOHS resources on bullying:

Start Safely on the Job

10 health and safety tips for new workers

CCOHS Publication: Orientation for New Workers

Along with the excitement of a new job comes the need to stay safe. Young and new workers are particularly vulnerable to workplace injury or illness; all workers, regardless of age, have 5 to 7 times the risk of injury in the first month on the job. There are various reasons, but employers, parents and workers all have a role to play. Here are some tips to help young and new workers stay safe on the job:

  1. Provide training that recognizes the relative inexperience of new and young workers, and that accounts for differences in experiences, maturity, and developmental levels.
  2. Cover the essentials. A sound orientation program will not only include explanations of the job, administrative procedures and assorted polices and rules, but will also cover health and safety items such as emergency procedures, location of first aid stations, health and safety laws, and potential hazards.
  3. Be realistic with the roles. Group equipment or tasks which are associated with similar functions. Avoid designing tasks that require information from long-term memory. Don't assign tasks that require a high degree of skill or responsibility. Do not ask a young or new person to work alone or perform critical or risky tasks, such as handling dangerous chemicals.
  4. Provide easy-to-follow procedures that are short, and that are actively and clearly written.
  5. Ensure that there is adequate time to learn and practice skills. New workers need the time to build experience.
  6. Encourage feedback. New and young workers should be made to feel comfortable enough to ask questions and to alert their supervisors immediately if they see something that could endanger the safety of themselves or others, and to report any injury or illness immediately - no matter how small it may seem.
  7. Lend a hand. Assign mentors or set up a buddy system so that young and new workers have someone readily available to assist with job tasks and to answer questions.
  8. Show and show again. Demonstrate how to do each task the safe way, and do it more than once. Be accessible, watch the worker do the task and correct any mistakes. Continue to monitor the worker until you are confident they know how to do the work safely. Provide or ensure that the worker has and uses all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety shoes, hardhat or gloves. Make sure the worker knows where to find it, how to use it, and how to care for it.
  9. Help all workers know their rights. They have a legal right to be informed about workplace hazards and how to protect themselves, a right to participate in activities that will improve their working conditions, and a right to refuse unsafe work.
  10. Parents should pitch in. Talk to your children about their jobs. Find out about the tasks they perform, what training and orientation they receive, and what equipment, tools or chemicals they work with. Encourage them to think about potential hazards in the workplace.

Some resources for new and young workers from CCOHS:

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Is Work Leaving You Breathless?

Register for our free webinars on work-related asthma

Webinars Library: Work-Related Asthma: Breathe Easier ľ Part 2

Part 2 of our special webinar series on work-related asthma is quickly approaching, but there is still time to register. This 90-minute session on Wednesday, March 21, will focus on the recognition and management of work-related asthma in the workplace, including the identification, reduction or prevention of workplace exposures, and return-to-work- issues and case studies.

Work-related Asthma (WRA) is the most common occupational respiratory disorder in industrialized countries, yet is often under-recognized. The cost of occupational injuries to the Canadian economy is estimated to be greater than $19 billion annually. Early and accurate diagnosis, plus changes in the workplace, can make a difference to the well-being of patients and their co-workers.

The Ontario Lung Association in collaboration with Ontario Thoracic Society Provider Education Program, McMaster University, the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, and Health & Safety Ontario, is providing workers, employers and primary care healthcare providers with up-to-date guideline-based education on work-related asthma through this two-part webinar series.

Part 1 focused on the recognition and management of work-related asthma in the worker/patient. Did you miss the session? View the recorded webinar anytime.

"Really enjoyed the format. Very informative and useful. Thanks to the presenters!" - Breathe Easier: Work-Related Asthma, Part 1 attendee

This webinar series was developed as part of the Asthma Plan of Action, by the Ontario Lung Association, in cooperation with CCOHS and funded by the Government of Ontario. Attendance at these webinars qualify for continuing education points.

Learn more about Part 1 and Part 2 of the Work-Related Asthma webinar series


Save the Dates for Health and Safety

Upcoming events to reflect and to raise awareness

National Day of Mourning April 28

National Day of Mourning April 28

April 28th is National Day of Mourning in Canada. The flag on Parliament Hill will fly at half mast, we will pause, remember those who have lost their lives or been injured in the workplace, and reflect on how to prevent future tragedies. You can wear your support with a Day of Mourning commemorative pin. Or, you can download and display the 2012 poster in your workplace. Printed posters are also available at a cost. To receive your materials in time, you should place your orders by March 31.

Steps for Life Walk May 6

On May 6th, in more than 35 cities across Canada, the Steps for Life 5 KM Walk will kick off Safety and Health Week 2012. The event is not only fun, it also helps spread the message that workplace injuries and illnesses are preventable. Steps for Life is the major fundraising event for Threads of Life, a national charitable organization dedicated to supporting families along their journey of healing who have suffered from a workplace fatality, life-altering illness or occupational disease. Our CCOHS team will once again be walking in the Hamilton event. Find the walk closest to you and put your team together. It will be a Sunday to remember. Learn more about how you can participate on the Steps for Life website.

Health and Safety Week May 6 - 12

With the theme of "Making it Work", organizations all over North America are planning their activities for Health and Safety Week. It is a time in which attention turns to the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home and in the community. CCOHS is presenting a free webinar on psychological health and safety to help workplaces participate and raise awareness of health and safety that will last beyond this special week. Visit the Health and Safety Week website for more inspiration.

Take Action on Psychological Health and Safety

Sign up for a free webinar on May 8

Webinars Library: Psychological Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employers

Workplaces have made significant progress in addressing factors that impact the physical health and safety of employees; now similar attention must be paid to psychological health. Register for a free webinar on May 8 and learn about a new resource that can help you take action for a mentally healthier workplace.

In this hour-long session, Dr. Merv Gilbert and Dr. Dan Bilsker will tour you through Psychological Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employers, a new online resource that is geared towards all Canadian employers regardless of size, sector or location. The Mental Health Commission of Canada-Workforce Advisory Committee requested the creation of this resource to provide employers with guidance that includes practical, accessible and actionable recommendations. Based on a review of the latest scientific evidence and professional practices, the guide provides logical implementation steps, with emphasis on clear, realistic actions that are consistent with current knowledge and are supportive of the national standard for psychological health and safety.

The webinar will include a brief description of the underlying research and framework, an overview of the contents, and recommendations for application and dissemination. Organizations that implement some of the recommended actions will be encouraged to share their experiences in order to inspire and instruct others.

Learn more and register online


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